Is Housing Really Ready to Go Digital? Turning UK housing digital

By Matt Leach - on 07/12/2016

Over the course of this week, I’ve been blogging about how housing needs to radically change its approach to going digital.  On Monday, I blogged about the five main failure points in UK housing’s approach to going digital.  On Tuesday, I focused on the three main barriers to change and how we overcome them.  Yesterday, I asked the question quite how far housing businesses can go in digitally transforming themselves in 2017.  Today I am setting out the key changes that need to happen if housing is to truly go digital in 2017 and revealing details of a major new HACT initiative in this space.

Turning UK housing digital.

If UK Housing is to successfully transition to a new digital era, the starting point needs to be a significant increase – sector wide - in organisational digital maturity.  That means transforming:

  • Digital literacy and leadership
  • Attitudes to technology-led expenditure
  • Approaches to innovation
  • Awareness of and understanding of the latest technology trends and opportunities
  • The use of data to drive business decisions and inform new and more relevant customer focused strategies.

Over the next five years the UK housing sector needs in particular to:

  • Reframe housing technology as a core driver of business transformation
  • Understand that the challenge is not just one of making existing systems marginally more efficient (whether through channel shift and mobilisation of workforces) but by more comprehensively reinvent how housing businesses are structured and delivered
  • Move rapidly towards the development of CTO and/or CDO roles as a core part of every top-tier senior executive team to lead that change
  •  Focus on recruiting Board members from technology-savvy businesses, with the UK e-commerce and technology sector industries increasingly broad and mature, there is a large potential pool of talent to be drawn on.

Making it happen – delivering effective digital governance

HACT believes that this change needs to start at Board level. Housing needs to recruit a new generation of digital leaders. That is why we are delighted to be partnering with technology industry body techUK and digital recruitment leaders Hannington Tame  to launched a major initiative aimed at placing the UK’s digital economy on every housing provider board, helping UK housing bridge its “digital governance gap”.

The initiative will:

  • Match digital leaders from across the UK technology sector with housing provider boards, delivering a significant increase in digital capability at governance level at a time when digital transformation is becoming an increasingly important issue for many landlords
  • Provide full onboarding support, helping new board members understand the challenges and opportunities within the housing sector, and maximising their ability to succeed in their new housing roles
  • Establish a network of tech-focused housing association board members to ensure that housing providers get the support they need to engage with the major digital transformation challenges that will face their businesses over the next 5 years.

Click here for more details or to register your interest in becoming part of the first wave of this important sector-wide iniative contact digital.leadership@hact.org.uk.

Tomorrow, I’ll be bringing together all of HACT’s digital iniaitives in a single blogpost, and making our “manifesto for change” available for download.

 

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